Top Mesothelioma Cancer Centers

Patients who receive treatment at a mesothelioma cancer center have access to the best treatments available. The doctors at these facilities specialize in treating this rare form of cancer and some have even developed life-extending techniques that are used worldwide. Learn about top mesothelioma treatment centers so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Find a Mesothelioma Cancer Center Near You

It’s important to select a comprehensive cancer center that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of mesothelioma. Today’s patients have their choice of several top mesothelioma centers located all over the country.

With the world’s most experienced mesothelioma doctors, surgeons, and radiologists on staff, these facilities are equipped to provide the best patient care available. Top mesothelioma cancer centers also have dedicated research initiatives to test the latest methods for treating this rare cancer.

We can also help. To get connected with a mesothelioma center in your area, reach out to one of our Patient Advocates today at (866) 608-8933.

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Top Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer Centers

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma. There are numerous mesothelioma treatment centers nationwide that focus on this type of cancer.

Along with leading pleural mesothelioma doctors, these cancer centers have extensive treatment programs and their own in-house research, technology, and clinical trial teams.

Here are some of the country’s top pleural mesothelioma treatment centers.

Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute, Houston

  • Led by Dr. Taylor Ripley
  • Home to the Mesothelioma Treatment Center (MTC) founded by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker
  • Has a robust clinical trials program testing new and promising therapies

Learn more about Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston

  • Led by Dr. Raphael Bueno
  • Home of the International Mesothelioma Program, one of the most comprehensive mesothelioma research programs in the world
  • Birthplace of the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgical procedure

Learn more about Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

University of Chicago Cancer Center, Chicago

  • Led by Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
  • Receives major funding for mesothelioma treatment research
  • Home to ongoing clinical trials for novel vaccine therapies

Learn more about the University of Chicago Cancer Center.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

  • Led by Dr. Anne Tsao
  • Provides tailored treatment plans focused on improving prognosis and maintaining quality of life
  • Leading mesothelioma research facility studying targeted therapies

Learn more about the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Top Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer Centers

Though peritoneal mesothelioma is less common than pleural mesothelioma, treatment advances have helped these patients live longer.

The progress in peritoneal mesothelioma treatment can be attributed to leading cancer centers finding more effective ways of battling his deadly disease.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma treatment led by specialist Dr. Sophie Dessureault
  • Home to the Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center
  • Tailors treatment approaches to each patient using the expertise of a multidisciplinary team

Learn more about H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh

  • Led by Dr. David Bartlett and Dr. James Pingpank
  • Home to the Mesothelioma Speciality Care Program
  • Participates in the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB), an online database of past mesothelioma patients’ blood, tissue, and DNA samples

Learn more about the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Washington Cancer Institute, Washington D.C.

  • Previously led by world-renowned surgeon Dr. Paul Sugarbaker
  • Offers specialized treatment plans for peritoneal mesothelioma patients
  • Home of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancies program dedicated to treating rare abdominal cancers

Learn more about the Washington Cancer Institute.

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Top Mesothelioma Cancer Centers for Veterans

Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans with mesothelioma can be treated at any of the nation’s VA cancer centers.

Many veterans opt to use cancer centers that are part of the VA’s Veterans Health Administration. Doctors in these facilities sympathize with the unique struggles facing veterans and their families. Additionally, VA mesothelioma cancer centers can help veterans learn what VA benefits they may be eligible for.

“Mesothelioma is so complex, and its care so specialized, that a patient really needs the best care in the world.”

- Quote from Dr. Avi Lebenthal, VA Mesothelioma Doctor

Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston

  • Led by Dr. Taylor Ripley
  • Only VA hospital that offers treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston

Learn more about the Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center.

VA Boston Healthcare System

  • Led by Dr. Avi Lebenthal
  • Serves veterans from across the country
  • National research and treatment development center associated with Harvard Medical School

Learn more about the VA Boston Healthcare System.

West Los Angeles VA Healthcare System

  • Led by Dr. Robert Cameron
  • Largest VA hospital in the nation
  • Treats pleural mesothelioma using the lung-saving pleurectomy with decortication surgery

Learn more about the Los Angeles VA Healthcare System.

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Why Seek Treatment at a Mesothelioma Cancer Center?

For mesothelioma patients, the type and level of care they receive can be the difference between life and death. Mesothelioma is rare, with only 3,000 new cases annually in the U.S. Because of this, it’s important to have a specialist who knows how to properly treat this cancer.

Below, learn why patients and their families are strongly encouraged to visit a mesothelioma cancer center for their entire treatment experience.

Confirm a Diagnosis

Mesothelioma can be very hard to diagnose. Not only is it extremely rare, but mesothelioma cancer cells can also be easily mistaken for other types of cancer cells when being looked at under a microscope. This can lead to a mesothelioma misdiagnosis, which can put a patient on an incorrect treatment plan that allows their cancer to spread.

There is a lot involved in diagnosing mesothelioma, and each factor plays into which type of treatment will ultimately work. Specialists at mesothelioma cancer centers are best equipped to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis given a patient’s medical background and history of asbestos exposure.

Receive Specialized, Life-Extending Care

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with an average life expectancy of 12-21 months. Working with a designated mesothelioma cancer center gives patients the best chance of potentially extending survival.

Curative mesothelioma treatment is the best way to extend a patient’s life. Once a patient has received an accurate diagnosis, the lead oncologist works with their multidisciplinary team to create the best possible treatment plan.

Cancer center teams provide lifesaving treatments that range from radiation therapy to chemotherapy to aggressive, tumor-removing surgeries. More than one treatment is often combined in a multimodal approach to improve a patient’s prognosis and extend their life.

Working with several experts across different specialties gives mesothelioma patients the best shot at survival.

Even for patients in the later stages of the disease, palliative (pain-relieving) treatments given by mesothelioma specialists can ease symptoms and greatly improve quality of life.

Benefit from the Latest Therapies

Right now, the latest research in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment is underway at many mesothelioma cancer centers across the United States.

Mesothelioma patients who visit these specialized cancer centers can benefit from cutting-edge treatments, whether it’s access to the latest chemotherapy drugs or new immunotherapies, photodynamic techniques, and gene therapies.

Many of these therapies are tested through clinical trials at specialized mesothelioma cancer centers. Because these centers typically have dedicated funding, they can more quickly translate their mesothelioma research discoveries into tangible benefits for patients.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mesothelioma Cancer Center

While all the mesothelioma care centers listed above serve as an excellent choice, there are many other factors that might help make your decision.

Keep this checklist handy when researching mesothelioma cancer centers:

  • Location: Are any of the cancer centers close to you (within driving distance)?
  • Ability to Travel: Can you travel for treatment?
  • Experience: How much experience does the specialist have with the surgery or treatment you need?
  • Finances: How will treatment costs differ from one center to the other? Be sure to consider factors like travel and lodging expenses.
  • Insurance: What does your plan cover, and does it differ by location?
  • Surgery Options: What are the different types of surgeries offered at each center?
  • VA Services: Are there VA cancer centers nearby that treat mesothelioma if you’re a veteran?
  • Clinical Trials: What clinical trials are offered at which centers, and which of these trials might be able to help you?

Further, each mesothelioma cancer center has its own unique philosophy toward care. Some centers believe in administering the most aggressive forms of treatment, for example, while others take a more conservative approach.

Choosing a mesothelioma cancer center is a personal decision, but there are some general criteria that can help patients narrow down their options. Below, learn about the top four things to consider when selecting a mesothelioma cancer center.

Mesothelioma Specialization

It’s vital that whichever cancer center you choose has a solid background in treating your exact type of mesothelioma. This includes not only the cancer’s location but mesothelioma cell type and stage as well.

Certain mesothelioma cancer centers only specialize in pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, so it’s important to consider this before deciding on a center. Additionally, some specialists don’t feel confident treating late-stage mesothelioma, while for others it has become their focus.

Location

Where the cancer center is located is another major consideration. Travel costs can add up quickly and put an extra burden on mesothelioma patients and their loved ones.

Many patients can’t travel far due to their health or financial reasons and prefer to visit centers as close to home as possible. Other patients have the ability to travel to another state or even across the country to visit a mesothelioma cancer center.

If a patient lives in a remote region of the country, travel may be necessary. Fortunately, some cancer centers offer temporary housing to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones for free or reduced rates.

The ideal mesothelioma cancer center is one within reasonable travel distance that also offers the appropriate cancer care for your specific type of mesothelioma.

Insurance and Expected Costs

Most mesothelioma cancer centers will try to accommodate their patients’ unique financial situations.

If you have insurance, be sure to contact an administrator at each cancer center to see what is covered by your health insurance and what you might expect to pay out of pocket before moving ahead with treatment.

You can also ask how insurance claims will be processed for your treatment and confirm any other important details, such as how to access your medical records.

If you do not have insurance coverage, some mesothelioma cancer centers will enroll patients in clinical trials that cover the costs of treatment.

Access to Cutting-Edge Treatment Options

A crucial consideration for all mesothelioma patients is whether a cancer center offers potentially life-extending treatments specific to mesothelioma, like gene therapy, robotic surgery, or immunotherapy.

For example, a patient might check to see if a mesothelioma cancer center has any ongoing clinical trials they can participate in. New therapies tested in clinical trials at top cancer centers have meant the difference between a few months and a few years for some patients with mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma patients deserve the absolute best treatment and must make sure their chosen center can provide it.

Our Patient Advocates have decades of experience helping connect people with top treatment mesothelioma cancer centers and are ready to help you make this important decision. You can get in touch with them right now.

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Get Specialized Treatment At a Mesothelioma Cancer Center

Mesothelioma patients require swift and specialized medical intervention that addresses their unique and rare diagnoses.

Mesothelioma cancer centers offer:

  • Experience treating the specific type of mesothelioma you have
  • Full-service, personalized treatment from diagnosis to follow-up
  • Access to in-house research initiatives and clinical trials for the latest therapies

The team at Mesothelioma Hope can help you find a mesothelioma cancer center near you. Contact us today to find a facility with the necessary expertise and technology to help improve your prognosis.

Mesothelioma Cancer Center FAQs

What is the best hospital for mesothelioma?

There are several top mesothelioma hospitals located throughout the country.

Some of the best mesothelioma treatment centers include:

  • University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (pleural mesothelioma)
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (pleural mesothelioma)
  • Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa (peritoneal mesothelioma)
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (peritoneal mesothelioma)

When researching mesothelioma cancer centers, it may help to look for hospitals with National Center Institute (NCI) designation. This means the facility has met the high standards for research focused on developing state-of-the-art approaches to preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancers like mesothelioma.

There are currently 71 NCI-accredited cancer centers located across 36 states, which includes the four mesothelioma cancer centers listed above.

Why is it important to find a cancer center that specializes in mesothelioma?

Only a few thousand mesothelioma cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, and this cancer can be deadly in months without treatment. Therefore, it’s best to find a cancer center where the doctors on staff are experts in treating mesothelioma.

In addition to top surgeons and oncologists, a specialized mesothelioma cancer center usually has support staff like social workers, dieticians, faith-based leaders, and counselors who can make the treatment experience more comfortable for patients and their families.

How do I find a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma?

If you need help finding a mesothelioma doctor, call our team at (866) 608-8933. Our Patient Advocates can pair you with the best mesothelioma doctors for your case.

The right mesothelioma doctor for you should be well-versed in the latest surgeries, therapies, and treatment options to fight this disease.

Another good option is to see if any local cancer centers and doctors specialize in treating your type and stage of mesothelioma.

Are there any new treatments for mesothelioma?

Yes. In October 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of two immune checkpoint inhibitors, Opdivo® (nivolumab) and Yervoy® (ipilimumab), to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma patients whose cancer cannot be removed by surgery.

This was the first drug regimen approved for mesothelioma in 16 years and the second FDA-approved systemic therapy for mesothelioma.

New immunotherapies continue to be tested through clinical trials at mesothelioma cancer centers, along with other emerging treatments like epigenetic therapy, which alters the expression of genes in histones to eliminate cancer cells, as well as preventative mesothelioma vaccines.

Mesothelioma Hope was founded by a team of passionate health advocates to educate people about this aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects thousands of people each year. Our team works tirelessly to give hope to those impacted by mesothelioma. Learn more about operating principles and our Editorial Guidelines.

8 References
  1. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Mesothelioma. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/mesothelioma-treatment-center

  2. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Mesothelioma. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/surgery/thoracic-surgery/mesothelioma/default.aspx

  3. International Mesothelioma Program. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://impmeso.org/

  4. Moffitt Cancer Center. (n.d.). Mesothelioma. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://moffitt.org/cancers/mesothelioma/

  5. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Find a cancer center. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers/find

  6. National Cancer Institute. (2019, June 24). NCI-designated cancer centers. Retrieved July 14 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers

  7. Rossini, M., Rizzo, P., Bononi, I., Clementz, A., Ferrari, R., Martini, F., & Tognon, M. (2018, March 15). New perspectives on diagnosis and therapy of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fonc.2018.00091/full#B135

  8. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2020, October 2). FDA approves drug combination for treating mesothelioma. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-drug-combination-treating-mesothelioma

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